In the Aftermath of Mach Two Speed

Photo: Adikos, Creative Common, cc license

 “Learn from my mistakes,” she wrote vulnerably. “I wish someone had shared this with me years ago.”

I dished up a slice of sour cream lemon pie and poured the last marginally-hot dregs of coffee into my yellow and brown striped mug. Setting them beside the Ipad screenshot of a “Couch-to-5K” jogging plan wasn’t incongruous to me.

It was the jogging that was hard. Getting back into running after a year of not looked different than I thought it would. Determined at first to just practice mind over matter, to simply tie up shoes and make myself run the prescribed amount twice a week had some surprise setbacks mixed in with success at smaller goals. After a week of rain, some offset schedules, and a discouraging half-run in the mist, though, I returned home Monday afternoon soaking wet and disappointed.

My sister’s email arrived early Tuesday morning, with no knowledge of Monday night’s run.

“Learn from my mistakes,” she’d said and gone on to speak of injuries. “Our bodies need time to ease into running in order for the ligaments, tendons, and joints to get into shape. I never realized that before. …Running can be enjoyed for years and years if you get into it wisely.”

She attached a schedule interspersed with running and walking, growing incrementally over six weeks. It was wise and true, and I find myself pulling up the email again today and looking for similar running plans.

My husband and a teaching colleague from church have been working on a three-sermon-series on the effects of an immediate-gratification society. In a world with instant internet searches, fast food drive through’s, microwaves, no-wait theme park lines, on-demand products, and quick-fixes to most problems, we have been conditioned for speed and efficiency. And I love the ease of these modern conveniences.

If immediate gratification is the notion that anything can and should be had now, and that waiting is unnecessary, tiny questions begin to gnaw at me. What dangers lie in unconsciously applying this concept to other areas of life? More important than the effects of immediate gratification in my exercise life,  

How might the expectations of immediate gratification:
– affect my relationships?
– affect my approach to sin struggles
– affect my character?  

How does this expectation of immediacy impact my interactions with God? 

Resisting the desire for a tidy wrap up, I’m going to instead let the questions hang in the air here with us, and go lace up my sneakers.

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  1. Bill (cycleguy) on May 17, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Well…I'm not from Living Faith Church but I am going to stop by anyway. 🙂 This is great advice. After having knee surgery last November, the rehab guy said to start slowly on my trainer riding the bike. 5 minutes and gradually move it up. I started at 25 but with no pressure. When I finally got outside I started with 13 miles and gradually increased the mileage. Knee tendinitis is not something I wanted to deal with. It was hard not to get back where I was at the end of last cycling season, BUT NECESSARY. The instant gratification of the culture even affects that. I'm glad I took it slowly. You will be too…in every way.

  2. Floyd on May 17, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Great post, Jennifer. We all are prone to have the desires of the instant gratification world we live in. But you're so right. The things that we gain with little struggle and perseverance have little value to us. The things that we struggle and strive for over years are the ones that bring sweet gratification by the design of our Father. This is a great reminder. Good job, sister. Love how you ended this! You know I love a good wrap up! Drives the point right to the heart!

  3. Dontmissyoursunsetlady on May 18, 2014 at 1:35 am

    Thanks for making me think…

  4. DaisyTea on May 19, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Any way we can get a copy of that "building up to running" schedule? 😀 I've never been a runner, but have contemplated it many times. Thanks for your words of wisdom. ♡ tina

  5. Jennifer Dougan on May 20, 2014 at 4:39 am

    Bill, welcome as always! 🙂 My husband and his friend are trying a fun twist of interaction for their sermon series. Does your church use social media much either? We don't really normally, but like to try new things.

    Sounds like wise advice here on biking and exercise in general. I'm seeing the wisdom in it, and in fact, am headed out to buy proper running shoes with my sister tomorrow.

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan

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